How Rich People Spend Their Time
Let me ask you a straightforward question…would you like to be rich?
A stupid question right, of course everyone wants to be rich. Have you ever thought about what it really means to be wealthy?
This week in the Washington Post there was an article that could make the idea of being rich, much less attractive:
Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman has found, however, that being wealthy is often a powerful predictor that people spend less time doing pleasurable things, and more time doing compulsory things and feeling stressed.
People who make less than $20,000 a year, for example, told Kahneman and his colleagues that they spend more than a third of their time in passive leisure — watching television, for example. Those making more than $100,000 spent less than one-fifth of their time in this way — putting their legs up and relaxing. Rich people spent much more time commuting and engaging in activities that were required as opposed to optional.
There are a couple things that I find interesting about his findings.
1.) Is Passive Leisure Time a Result of Having Less Money, or the Cause of It?
Since I’ve heard many successful people mention that they don’t watch TV or do many other time wasting activities, my first thought when reading this article was that maybe the author had it backwards.
It was the desire to be lazy and waste time that was actually keeping many of the subjects from making more money!
Note that the article says engaged in passive leisure. I don’t know very much about being rich, but I’m thinking that being passive isn’t one of the best ways to achieve that goal.
2.) The Rich Don’t Seem any More Satisfied With Their Lives
Given the lack of relax time and the added stress levels of the people making over $100,000 a year in the article, it’s hard to decide whether it is more desirable to earn more, or stick with the lower salary.
How about you, would you take the six figure salary if you knew that it came with a whole lot less time to enjoy that added bank?
The Real Truth
I guess the real point of this story is that $100,000 a year is no longer “rich” by any means.
It seems to me that like the term “millionaire” a six figure income has succumbed to inflation and no longer comes even close to providing a lavish or carefree life.
I would probably put the price tag of financial freedom at about $10 million net worth or $300,000 net income.
Quote from The Washington Times.
–this post has been featured in this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance on Greener Pastures, check it out!